Things happen for a reason.
I've been missing my kids the past few days and I wish they are still home with me. Was it worth it having them all go away for college? I struggle with the thought of what could have been if we all stayed together? What if we didn't leave the Philippines? What if I had just asked them to go to school in the same city I'm in? What if I tried to hold on to them as long as I can?
These questions lingered in me. Until I visited each of my kids' Facebook account. I go through their recent photos, my eldest daughter had a busy week entertaining a visiting high school friend. They went around Berkeley and San Francisco and had a blast. My second daughter had a busy October at school but still manages to attend her pre- health organization's meetings and events at UCLA. My son in Cornell also has been busy with school work and had a lot of fun with his Filipino-American student organization's event of hosting a comedy workshop.
Finally, I read a conversation among the three of them, with my eldest daughter leading the way, on how they should catch up on Google Hangout. All three of them promise to update their planners so they can arrange a meeting, hoping to do this bi-monthly. This thread was so heart-warming for me. I guess my greatest fear is we are all so busy that we lose connection to each other. But that connection can no longer be broken.
No matter how busy our schedules get, how far away we are from each other, we are still the same. Our connections have been built through all the years we were together. We started early, raising the kids in an active and creative environment, making sure they played a sport and a musical instrument in elementary school. It continued by demanding from them the highest grades possible but at the same time asking them to do extracurricular activities. Getting them involved in research and internships in high school. And asking them to be the best person they could be when they leave for college. Things happen for a reason. My kids are all away from home to get the best education and experience for them to prepare for the future. And now I am just riding along until I get to be with them again.
Ukoy (Shrimp Fritter)
Ukoy is a popular street food in the Philippines. I've been wanting to make this especially at this time of the year when pumpkins are everywhere. Squash is one of the ingredients and I wanted the streaks of squash to show, but it turned out like it blended with the batter. My husband said it didn't look like the traditional one, but whatever it is he said, it surely tasted great... LOL!
1 lb shrimp, deveined
1 cup squash, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 stalks green onions sliced
(you could also add mongo sprouts or potatoes)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp lemon-pepper powder
3/4 water (pour it slowly, making sure that the batter is still thick)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
You don't like a soggy shrimp fritter, so I'm sharing a technique which I learned from America's Test Kitchen on PBS. The solution is to dry the ingredients (veggies and shrimp) with a paper towel first and mix them with the dry ingredients. The dry ingredients absorbs the moisture of the veggies and shrimp.
Mix the dry ingredients first: flour, cornstarch, lemon-pepper powder. Toss the veggies and shrimp. This will allow the water to be absorbed by the dry ingredients.
On a separate bowl, whip egg and water together. Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix well.
Heat cooking oil in a pan. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter. Quickly drop them in the hot oil. Cook each sides for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with vinegar with pepper and onions but you could also use the sweet chili if you'd prefer. Enjoy!